Creating a blog is fairly easy especially with WordPress. Everyone can do it in no time you can create a simple well-assembled WordPress blog.
Why is a good domain name important?
Finding your perfect domain name can be very difficult, finding a good domain name is important because it influences how you profile your blog, how you are found and how easy it is to reach you. Choosing a good domain name is a determining factor for your online success.
But how do you choose a good domain name? These 10 expert tips will help you choose the best domain name for your business or personal blog.
How to choose a domain name for your blog?
When starting up a new blog it is important that you select a good domain name for your blog. Some tips are more important than others, depending on whether you are looking for a domain name for a business or personal blog.
Keep the domain name short
Choose a short domain name. If you choose a long domain name you increase the chance of spelling mistakes. Moreover, typing a short name is much faster and a long name can also cause problems when performing marketing activities.
Keep the domain name easy
Make sure that your chosen domain name is easy to type. After all, you want to prevent someone from typing your domain name incorrectly and perhaps ending up with the competitor.
Choose the correct extension
Extensions are the additions to a domain name, such as .com, .net or .org. Think carefully about your ambitions in the future and the extension that comes with it.
Avoid numbers and characters as much as possible
Numbers and characters are often forgotten or misspelt. Take Six Flags, for example. When people hear the name, we won’t know if they should write six or six, let alone whether they should use a hyphen.
Preferably make no use of figures as of writing letters like G234f.com
Additions to the domain name
Is your ideal domain name taken? Then you can always opt for a certain addition such as:
Synonyms as an addition to the domain name
The additions above are quite generic. You can also choose other, more unique words such as:
Warehouse, trade or department store instead of the centre
Authority, expert or professional instead of expert
Check the availability on Social Media
Also always check whether your domain name is still available on the Social Media platforms that you want to use for your marketing purposes. It would be a shame if you choose a domain name that you cannot use on social media, right?
Look for a more unique name
Determine how unique the domain name is By searching on Google quickly you will soon know whether your chosen domain name is unique. If you find many similar domains in the search results, you better look for a more unique name. Moreover, you run less risk that people confuse your company with another company.
Choose a memorable domain name
Of course, you want people to remember your domain name well. The better your domain name remains in someone’s memory, the greater the chance that he will visit your website (more often). It is immediately clear what these websites are about. Even if the advertisements don’t appeal to you, everyone knows what you’re talking about.
Avoid street language and ‘slang’
It is better to avoid hypo-words and street language when choosing a domain name. These words are often not future-proof and will disappear from society in a few years. You don’t want to be left with a meaningless domain name, do you?
A good domain name can make or break your success, or at least strongly influence the number of visitors.
How do I choose a good web hosting provider?
What is Web Hosting?
What exactly is web hosting? We regularly see this question pass. We will explain this easily. A website consists of different files (images, various content). These files are stored on a piece of a powerful server (with a hosting company) such hosting companies have hundreds or even thousands of different servers. So, in fact, you rent a portion of the storage, memory and especially computing power of a server.
The big advantage of such servers at a hosting company is that the website is actually online 24/7. The hosting companies usually call this the “uptime guarantee”.
If this sounds a bit strange or technical, don’t panic! Nowadays ordering a website hosting package is very quick and easy. So you don’t have to be technical for this.
Different types of web hosting:
There are different types of hosting nowadays. Below you will find the 3 most common types of hosting.
Shared Hosting is the most popular form of website hosting. 90% of people choose this type of hosting. This means that you share the server with other websites. Everything is nicely divided so that everyone is shielded from each other.
However, if you choose a less reliable hosting company, it could be that your website suddenly works slowly. This can have various causes but most of the time it is because there are way too many websites on 1 server. Therefore it is overloaded. And you definitely want to avoid a slow website! This is very bad for the visitors but also for Google itself. Google has indicated that slower websites rank lower.
The second type of hosting that you can choose is, therefore, VPS Hosting. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This form of hosting is more expensive than Shared Hosting and is usually for people who are more technical. You can also choose to have your VPS managed by the hosting company itself. You will probably not need this type of hosting immediately. The advantage is that you can use all the resources for your blog. This is usually a solution for very large websites and online shop.
The third type of hosting is Reseller Hosting. This is a solution for people who want to offer hosting (reselling) to customers. So this is usually used by website companies themselves. Of course, you have a lot of options here, but everything depends on which hosting company you have chosen.
Cloud web hosting is hosting that uses the resources of several clustered servers. Basically, this means that your website uses the virtual resources of several servers to accommodate all the aspects of hosting your site
WordPress hosting is just hosting that has been optimized to better meet WordPress’ performance and security needs. It also typically includes one-click WordPress installs to make it easy to get started with WordPress.
Choosing a suitable hosting company is the first and one of the most important steps when you start a blog. A good hosting provider is very useful and you can use their help (especially in the beginning).
Numerous reviews can be found online and you never know exactly what a hosting company does for you before you actually become a customer of them. Most hosting companies claim to be the best at what they do, but how do you make a good choice? To save you the frustrations of a poor host and slow websites, I have written this article with things to watch out for when choosing a host.
The importance of good web hosting
Hosting plays a crucial role in the success of your blog. The speed with which websites and especially web stores load is important because this directly contributes to the result and effectiveness of the website or web store. Also in the world of web host companies and renting online servers: Cheap is often expensive. Blog loading times are becoming increasingly important.
A faster blog ensures among other things:
- A better user experience
- A better position in search engines
- Higher conversion ratios
Blog visitors are not only becoming increasingly impatient now that they can use faster and faster internet at home and on the road, they are increasingly expecting a beautiful website that loads immediately and is quickly navigable. Strangely enough, website speed is usually not a priority for Dutch companies, while there is a lot to be gained there. A good host ensures that your website can be reached quickly and always. But how do you choose a suitable web host? I am particularly satisfied with our hosting provider
What do you need to host for a Blog?
There are often different hosting packages available and before you purchase one of these packages it is useful to pay attention (for a simple website) to the following points:
- Minimum 2 GB storage space.
- 3 GB of data per month.
- 1 MySQL database.
- Possibility to create and manage e-mail addresses yourself.
- Possibility to install applications such as WordPress with 1 click.
- Automatic backups (of your files and databases).
- The server supports the latest software and scripts (PHP 7+).
- DNS management (quite technical but access is handy).
- Handy customer panel (Access to a customer panel where you can set things yourself).
- Is there good (and especially fast) customer service (you can quickly ask a question via, for example, live chat, email, telephone or a support ticket)?
- Which hosting technology is used?
Which is the best web hosting solution for your blog?
As bloggers, we all have different needs and budgets for our blogs. A new blogger starting from scratch will have different needs and priorities to an established blogger with a large audience.
You need to consider a number of factors, such as:
- Tech support and customer service
- Data storage
- Email hosting
Weighing up these factors will lead to different solutions for different bloggers. Which means that as your blog develops you should be prepared to upgrade your hosting, or even change providers.
7 questions to ask yourself or your hosting provider
Do you need email hosting?
Do you want your email address to be firstname.lastname@example.org? If so, then you need to stick with hosting companies that provide email hosting. Keep in mind that an email with your domain name looks more professional.
Do you need large storage for media files?
For example, do you plan on uploading videos, infographics, or high-resolution photos? If so, you’ll need a host that offers large storage solutions.
But be wary of hosting services with unlimited storage. Some of them will limit your storage usage by capping your inode usage. Before signing up, ask your web host about inode usage. Anything below 100,000 inodes on a shared web host is unacceptable.
Do you expect the blog site to grow fast?
If you do, then you should probably stick with a web host that gives you room to grow. The more traffic you have, the more data transfer and CPU power you’ll need.
Look at the cost of bigger packages and private hosting. Some hosting companies offer cheap rates for small packages, but charge much more than they should for larger ones.
What other additional services you need?
Do you need server root access? Someone to backup your site for you or automated backup? Automated malware scanning? These could all be deciding factors on your hosting choice.
What is your level of hosting knowledge?
Do you need spoon-fed support, or you can pretty much cover everything yourself? Do you prefer phone calls over live chat or vice versa? If your knowledge is limited, look for a hosting company that caters to newbies or offers inexpensive tech support packages.
Can you tweak and secure your own WordPress site?
If you can’t, you may need a developer to do it for you instead. Some hosting companies provide their own web development services. But make sure you check the cost of using these developer services carefully. Does the company charge by the hour, or by the task? Will they teach you to manage your own backend on the server, or will you be paying them for eternity to update your site?
Is the server location important?
If you’re not planning on using a CDN, you probably want a server that’s closest to your targeted audience so your blog loads faster for them.
7 tips for choosing a good host for your blog:
In addition to the points mentioned above, I have 7 more useful tips to look out for while selecting a hosting party. When choosing a hosting party, note the following:
- Uptime guarantee
- 2 Data limits
- 3 Disk space
- 4 Support
- 5 Access to FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .Htaccess, SSH, MySQL, CRON
- 6 SSL support
- Location of your server
A web host must not only be fast and reliable, a good host guarantees that its servers are always available. For example, many web hosting companies guarantee that your server and therefore your website will be online and accessible 99% of the time.
This means the maximum number of bytes that can be sent when visitors click on your website. Even though unlimited hosting is the standard for many hosting parties, you can consider this as a trick to attract customers as new websites do not need this. Most small and new websites use less than 3GB of data per month. Do not fall for the “Unlimited bandwidth” offers from hosting parties as there are often limitations in the fine print. Make sure that you do not go beyond these restrictions because in many cases you will have to pay extra.
Every hosting provider is a landlord for a piece of hard disk, just like it is in your computer. You can use this space for various applications, such as mail, website, database, etc. Most small websites (without videos or music streams) use less than 2GB of space. So don’t be tempted by promises such as “Unlimited disk space” or “100GB of disk space”, you will not use this anyway and if you can, you can always upgrade.
Technical support is useful and important, especially in the beginning. Make sure you don’t end up at a hosting party where they are particularly good at selling and not solving problems.
Access to FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .Htaccess, SSH, MySQL, CRON
If you pay for a web hosting account, make sure that you have access to all the parts mentioned. This ensures that you do not have to wait for permission or approval before you can add a new feature to your website.
If you plan to sell goods and services through your website, it is essential to see if your future web host supports SSL. If you want to accept payments from your visitors, it is important that this is done via a secure connection.
Location of your server
It is important that your server is as close as possible to your visitors, so the further away from the visitor’s server is, the longer it takes. For example, it is not advisable to put a US blog on a server in the United Kingdom because this can negatively influence the website loading times (distance = time).
8 best web hosting company for your blog
Can’t decide on which web hosting you should choose for your blog? If you want to start a successful blog, it’s important to choose the best blog hosting.
Choosing the wrong web hosting can slow down your website, cause security issues, and even crash your whole blog! Plus, switching web hosts can be a hassle. That’s why it’s so important to make the right choice, to begin with when you’re starting a blog.
Here are my recommendations based on different levels and needs of blogging.
1. SiteGround – Best WordPress Support:
2. Bluehost – Best Web Hosting for WordPress
3. HostGator Cloud – Unlimited Web Hosting
4. DreamHost – Best Web Hosting for Developers
5. InMotion Hosting – Best Web Hosting for Shared and VPS
6. A2 Hosting – Fastest Web Hosting
7. GreenGeeks – Eco-friendly Web Host
8. iPage – Best Cheap Web Hosting
Choose content management system (CMS) for blogging
What is a CMS?
A CMS (content management system) is software that allows users to create, edit and publish web content – such as texts and multimedia elements. The software has a graphical user interface, so you can work with it even without programming skills.
In order to attract as many visitors as possible to your website, you need attractive content. Texts, images, videos and graphs not only offer added value for readers and users, but they also have a positive influence on your ranking in the search engines. But someone has to manage, publish and keep that content up-to-date. With large websites, this can be a big task that you can only perform with a content management system (CMS). But which CMS is best for you? We offer you an overview of the most important requirements for a CMS and we compare five open-source CMS.
How do you choose the best CMS?
If you are looking for the best content management system for your website, you will probably no longer see the forest for the trees. There are currently 250 to 300 different programs on the market. We cannot compare every CMS. The range varies from simple website builders to extensive business systems. The question is, therefore: what requirements must a CMS meet to optimally support your online project?
Most popular content management system(CMS) for blogging
WordPress is the most widely used open-source CMS on the market, with around 18 million installations worldwide. It was originally designed as a blog system, but there are now several extensions available for the basic installation. These make it possible to upgrade the software to a fully functional content management system.
- 18,000 extensions and more than 14,000 free design templates
- Installation possible within 5 minutes
- Search engine friendly URLs
- Also mobile publishing and management tools
- System requirements WordPress 4.7.2
- Web server: any server with PHP and MySQL)
- Middleware: PHP 7 or higher
- Database: MySQL 5.6 or higher
- Hardware: developers recommend a PHP memory limit of 32 MB or more
- Further recommendations: HTTPS support / for search engine friendly URLs you need the Apache mod-rewrite module
Benefits of WordPress
With WordPress.org you have control over every aspect of your website. You can grow your blog and add extra features such as forums, a web store, etc.
In addition, thousands of free and premium templates are available. With this, you can often create a beautiful website that has a unique appearance without having knowledge of code.
You also have access to more than 45,000 free plug-ins. These plug-ins are like apps for your WordPress blog, allowing you to add all kinds of new features.
And WordPress is search engine friendly. Finally, the WordPress CMS is the most widely used blog platform worldwide, as a result of which there are many programmers who have experience with this CMS and you can therefore easily call in external help.
How to design your blog
The most important thing is that you start from the content of your blog. So only start looking for a suitable theme if you know exactly what your site is about and what you want to achieve with it. And who! You then know much better what you need to do justice to that content.
How to choose the right theme for your WordPress Blog
The first thing to consider when choosing a theme is to make sure it allows for high readability. After all, the number one reason people will visit your blog is to consume your content, right? That means you should choose a blog with a font that is both consistent and easy on the eyes. No matter how cute you might think a font is, if it’s hard to read, then skip that theme.
Here are some of the top tips to increase the readability of your blog:
- Fonts: Pick a theme with only one or two fonts that are easy to read, and don’t use any other fonts. Arial, Courier, Verdana, and Times New Roman are always safe fonts to use.
- Whitespace: Make sure the theme you choose allows plenty of whitespaces. Design, text, and pictures can go a long way, but only if there is plenty of whitespace in between in order to give your reader’s eyes a break.
- Spacing: One of the easiest ways to make your blog readable is to use line spacing to your advantage. Make sure you double-space your paragraphs rather than indent.
One of the best things about a theme is that you don’t have to do much work to make it look good. While it’s nice to have someone talented design your blog theme for you, it’s also nice to have some options to customize. This can include customizing the colour of your blog, the header image, and even the code (if you know what you are doing). The more options you have for customization, the more opportunities you have to really make the blog your own.
Is the theme responsive? That is, is your site properly displayed on all different screen formats, from large desktop screens to tablets and smartphones? This is really a must. If your visitors cannot view your site properly on their tablet or phone, they will of course be gone again (and there is a good chance that they will never come back). It is therefore also an important ranking factor for searches on mobile devices for Google. If you see a theme that you like, first check the description for the term ‘responsive’.
Compatible with WordPress Update
There are a lot of places to buy themes for WordPress, but one thing you will want to check out before purchasing a third-party design is that your theme is guaranteed to update along with WordPress. It’s highly possible to buy a good-looking third-party theme only to find out with the next WordPress update that your theme doesn’t account for the WordPress changes.
7 WordPress themes for bloggers
To make a blog really attractive, it needs a neat theme. Preferably a theme where all your texts are central and can be read well.
# 7 H-Code
With H-Code there are around 200 layouts that have already been created by the developers of the theme and a number of them are ideal if you want to get started with developing your own blog. For example, you can opt for the Blog Masonry or the Blog Grid.
In both cases, your blog articles will be placed on the website with photos attached. H-Code, therefore, offers you a neat design that you can use in many directions. Do you prefer two, three or four columns? You can indicate it all in this theme. You can also give the message page a nice appearance with H-code.
# 6 Newspaper
Newspaper is a theme that you can use in different directions. You can use this theme as a magazine, but certainly also as a blog. The makers have already created several blog concepts so that you can actually go to Newspaper for every target group.
Newspaper is a theme that you can use if you want to start a cooking blog, a beauty blog, a travel blog or a baby blog, for example. It is not without reason that the theme has been awarded the top-rated news theme. It is innovative and has a beautiful appearance with which you have won readers for your blog.
# 5 Potassium
Most of the themes that you will find in this article can be used for multiple purposes. That also applies to Potassium. However, a separate layout has also been created for enthusiasts who want to get started with a blog, with this theme the layout is called ‘Blogger’.
With Blogger you get a very quiet layout, where you can also say a few things about yourself. With this theme, you don’t need coding skills. You can easily set everything by visiting the Theme Options. Potassium is certainly recommended.
# 4 Writing
Are you looking for a really minimalist design, then Writing is one of my favourite themes. The theme is suitable for enthusiasts who want to leave their messages on a personal blog with a number of simple creative functions and effects to keep the readers happy.
Writing it is striking that the makers have tried to combine modern, classical and minimalist. If you want a blog without too much fuss, then this theme is definitely worth a look.
# 3 The Essence
The Essence can, of course, be used by anyone, but in my eyes, this theme is especially good for female bloggers. The theme features an elegant design and ensures that you can quickly click on a blog post due to its layout.
In addition, in The Essence, there is also room in the sidebar to be able to say something about yourself. That makes your blog a little more personal. The makers have already created some twenty different home page layouts from which you can choose your favourite.
# 2 The Voux
The Voux is a theme that can really catch on with multiple target groups. The makers have already created the necessary layouts. If you would like to start a food blog, a fashion blog or a travel blog, then you can go to a number of demos that are ready-made.
However, you can also simply opt for a simpler version with a slider on top where you can see your most popular blog articles. If you still want to make some adjustments, the Visual Composer is also always there to help you with that.
# 1 Weebly
The very last theme in this article is Webly. The theme is really made to start a WordPress Blog. It is a theme with a creative and elegant look, with at least three layouts already pre-installed.
The differences between the layouts that have already been made is that you can choose from a version where all your messages are placed underneath each other, a grid version where everything is neatly next to and below each other or an even / odd grid, where you alternate see the photo on the left or right and the text on the other. A very neat theme that tackles things a bit differently than the aforementioned themes.
Theme customization and complete blog design
Add Basic Essential Pages:
Decide on Your Branding
- Colour Scheme
- logo Design
- Font Style
Add Couple of Blog Content
How to secure your WordPress blog protect from hackers
Many of our customers use WordPress as CMS for their website. And that’s not surprising, because WordPress is easy to use, there are lots of themes and plugins available for it, and the number of people and sites you can go to for more information is large. Two months ago, WordPress announced that a third of all websites worldwide run on WordPress! Unfortunately, this popularity also makes WordPress an interesting target for hackers. It is therefore important to properly secure your WordPress site, and in this blog post, I will give you a number of tips for that. Before we move on to the tips, we first look at why hackers would like to have access to websites, including yours.
Why are websites being hacked?
Many website owners may think that their own website is so small or unimportant that it would not be an interesting target for hackers. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you. Virtually every website is interesting to hack. It is often the more websites that are hacked, the closer the hacker gets to his or her goal. These goals are often financially or politically tinged. A number of types of hacks are:
Defacement: this removes a website and replaces it with a page created by the hacker, with, for example, a political slogan to which he or she wants more attention.
Example of a defacement page
Sending spam: the hacker can also install a program on the website that can be used to send spam to many email addresses.
Spreading viruses: what sometimes also happens is that the hacker adds a piece of code to the website, which infects the visitor’s computer on the hacked website with a virus.
SEO spam: with hack type, the hacker adds links and content to increase the popularity of other websites in search engines and the number of visitors to those websites.
Conducting attacks on the internet: finally, the hacker can also install tools on the website that can be used to perform a DDoS attack on the internet. If the hacker has hacked hundreds to thousands of websites and allows them to visit a certain website at the same time, the hacker can use this to have that website flattened out because there is as much traffic coming in 1x.
Now that we know why hackers find it interesting to gain access to your website, I will give you 5 tips below to improve the security of your WordPress site.
Tip 1: Ensure good login security
The easiest way to access a website for a hacker is that he or she can simply log in with a username and password. A number of suggestions to better secure the WordPress login:
Use a good and hard-to-guess password
You can generate a difficult password via this website. Do you have trouble remembering such a password? Then use a password manager. At XXL we use 1password with pleasure. There are also free alternatives, such as LastPass. In addition, make sure that you never reuse passwords for multiple websites or online services. If ever a certain service is hacked and your password is intercepted, then hackers are so smart to try that password in other places as well.
Change your username
The default username to log in as admin on a WordPress site is admin. Hackers, of course, know that too, and they will then try to gain access with this username – they only have to guess the password. On this page, you can read how you can change the admin username.
Add two-step authentication before logging in
Finally, it is advisable to add two-step authentication (in English: two-step authentication) to the login process for your WordPress site. After you have logged in with a username and password, you will also be asked for an additional code that will generate an app on your phone. For example, just having the correct password is not enough to come in. A good plugin with which you can set two-step authentication is this.
Tip 2: Keep WordPress, plugins and themes up-to-date and secure
Security breaches are regularly found in WordPress, plugins and themes. These security breaches are addressed in updates. Because security leaks are made public, hackers will attempt to exploit these leaks to gain access to websites through that web. It is therefore very important that you regularly install the available updates. Not only for WordPress itself, but also for all plugins and themes that you use.
And an extra remark about plugins and themes: be careful about the website through which you download these plugins and themes. Use only reliable websites, and the free and illegal downloading of premium themes and plugins is completely out of the question. Often there is malware and all kinds of backdoors hidden in these downloads.
Tip 3: install the “invisible reCaptcha” plugin
Your WordPress site often uses a number of forms. For example, think of:
- The form to log in
- The form to register on the website
- The contact form
- The form to request a new password, if you have forgotten it
- The form to leave a comment or review on a page
Hackers can write bones that “attack” and abuse these forms to gain access to your website, or to spread spam through the comment or contact form. To protect yourself against this, you can install the invisible reCaptcha plugin. Every time a form is filled in, this plugin analyzes how risky the promotion is. If it is suspicious, the visitor must perform a “challenge” to show that he or she is not a robot. The form will only be sent if this challenge is successful.
Tip 4: Choose a reliable hosting provider for your website
You can still have the front door (your WordPress site) protected so well, but if the back door (your hosting provider) is open – hackers can still enter. It is therefore important that you choose a good and reliable hosting provider. Of course, we recommend WC Eend, our own WC Eend product – but a few things you should pay attention to are:
Does your hosting provider keep the servers up-to-date?
It is important that your hoster keeps the operating system on the server, the control panel, the PHP version and MySQL version up-to-date. Safety leaks are regularly found and sealed in all these parts.
Is your website secured with an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate ensures that traffic between the user of a website and the server on which this website is located is encrypted. For example, third parties cannot view and listen to this traffic. You can recognize an SSL certificate by the green lock in the address bar and by https: // instead of http: // at the beginning of the URL. At XXL, all domain names in your hosting package receive a free SSL certificate.
Does your hosting provider regularly make backups and can you use them yourself?
If it does go wrong once and your website is hacked, then it is good that you can fall back on backups made. Check whether your hoster makes backups, how long they are kept, and how you can restore them yourself. With XXL you can restore backups yourself in the control panel of your hosting package, from 1 to 10 days back.
Does your host scan and remove malicious software?
A hacker often tries to place small programs on a hosting package, with which he opens a back door and thus gains further access to the website. Such malicious programs can also be used to send spam or to carry out attacks on the internet. These programs are called malware or exploits. At XXL we automatically scan every file that is placed or modified, and we compare that file with a database that is full of frequently used malware and exploits. If the file exists in the database, we will immediately put the file in quarantine.
Add subscription form for email list building
Add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog and start building your email list. Email is the most reliable and direct way of communication. By offering an email subscription on your blog, you can build a steady stream of regular visitors for your site. Email subscription also gives your users yet another way to consume your content as some folks may not be on social media.
Add Subscription Form through MailChimp in your Blog
MailChimp is a free service for building a mailing list and sending e-mail newsletters. MailChimp for WordPress is one of the best known and most downloaded plugins for integrating MailChimp on your WordPress websites.
With this plugin you can, for example, create forms with which your visitors can sign up for your newsletter. But you can, for example, also add a ‘checkbox’ to your contact form and / or the comment form with your blog posts. When people check this, they are automatically signed up for your newsletter! This plugin will certainly help you to collect more “subscribers”.